Relics

My small bare feet on cold concrete; searching through cardboard basement boxes. Preserved flowers and butterflies sandwiched between parchment and pressed in the middle of dusty outdated encyclopaedias that smell of damp, musty spaces. Crystal punch bowls, dolls with frazzled hair, books I don’t understand, a tan leather suitcase filled with stained and nibbled baby clothes, a sparkly pink rhinestone brooch that I pocket. Shriveled spiders in rosebud-painted china tea cups; thick-legged spiders scuttling past me into a crack here or there. I diligently excavate this trove without looking for any item in particular. Discovering past pieces that at one time had a place, were worn or read, held cocktails at a party, lived beside someone every day. I am piecing together a story I don’t know by investigating the memories of someone else.

-AJS

Featured Image Credit: Jeff Wall, After “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue, 1999-2000 (edited: black and white filter, see original image here)

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